Heidelberg United are delighted to announce the return of former WPL Captain and Club Legend Rita Mankowska!
After making her debut in Round 1 of the 2003 Women’s Premier League (WPL) Season at the age of 13 years and 7 months, Rita Mankowska went on to represent our Club on more than 200 occasions at senior level thus joining the “200 Club” in 2016. She is currently the Club’s women’s games record holder having played over 250 games to date.
In 2006, Rita played in her first of 5 Grand Finals with her beloved team and was “Player of the Match” in the Club’s Championship side of 2007.
In 2008, Rita won a scholarship with North Carolina University and played in the American College system whilst in 2010 she also played for Melbourne Victory in the W-League.
Rita went on to Captain the Bergers from 2009-2012.
At the conclusion of the 2012 WPL Season, work commitments saw Rita move to Western Australia, leaving her 7 games short of her 200th at the time. Rita joined the Northern Redbacks Perth in 2013 and played with them for two seasons, winning the WA Premiership in 2013.
In 2015, Rita decided to return back to Melbourne and continue her plying career with the Bergers.
At the conclusion of the 2017 Season, Rita decided to broaden her resume and play AFL for the next two seasons.
Johno Clemente was thrilled to be able to lure back a player of the calibre of Rita and had this to say:
“Rita’s a phenomenal leader on and off the pitch and her experience and defensive abilities will be instrumental for us this season”
The returning Mankowska said: “I’m excited to be back home at Heidelberg, I’ve been really impressed with Johno’s coaching abilities and the talent of the squad he has put together. I’m really looking forward to being back at the Club and adding some experience to the squad.”
Welcome back Reets!